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142 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
When reading at the weekend, I have some rules - I can read before getting up, but must not sit down with it again until after lunch. With this wonderful book, I tore up the rulebook and read it in one glorious sitting.

I was absolutely fascinated by this story narrated by Matthew Homes, a teenager suffering with mental illness in the wake of the sudden death...
Published 17 months ago by Welsh Annie

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heading back.
At first, I couldn't get on with this - too sad, too quirkily presented for me - but I returned to it in the light of the Costa book award win and persevered, ultimately finding it to be a touching and empathetic read.

Some of Matt's thoughts seemed a little too conveniently contrived - one could almost feel the author 'sitting on his narrator's shoulder' - and...
Published 8 months ago by Sue Kichenside


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142 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 12 May 2013
By 
Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Shock of the Fall (Hardcover)
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When reading at the weekend, I have some rules - I can read before getting up, but must not sit down with it again until after lunch. With this wonderful book, I tore up the rulebook and read it in one glorious sitting.

I was absolutely fascinated by this story narrated by Matthew Homes, a teenager suffering with mental illness in the wake of the sudden death of his brother Simon. For a difficult read in terms of subject matter, this is an easy and flowing read - a strange comment maybe, with the fragmented time frame, the different typefaces, and the dips into and out of Matt's mental illness, but it was all accomplished so effortlessly. There are lovely touches of humour, acute observations about life and human behaviour, and a set of exceptionally well drawn subsidiary characters.

I particularly liked Matt's parents - the tableau presented of them sitting as a family watching Eastenders, the father's awkwardness with his "mon ami" greeting and secret handshake, and the mother's attempts at home schooling after Simon's death (where Matt was forced to make deliberate mistakes to get her attention). His grandmother, Nanny Noo, is also a wonderful creation - calling at Matt's every other Thursday, cooking pasta bake, smoking one of her menthol cigarettes from the kitchen drawer, and already familiar with mental illness elsewhere in the family. I also loved the use of letters - Denise's attempts to get Matt to attend his medical appointments, and particularly the wonderful invitations.

It's hard to believe this is a first novel, so accomplished is the writing - but from hearing the author interviewed on Simon Mayo's Book Club, I know this book was a long time in the conception and writing, and that he continues to work as a mental health nurse. An incredibly moving read, and very highly recommended.
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77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 July 2013
This review is from: The Shock of the Fall (Hardcover)
I saw this book in a book review in a magazine and thought I'd give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading the novel.

It's striking and quirky, the novel is written from the point of view of the main character and it allows the reader to really see into the depths of his character and how he was able to spiral into mental illness. I thought the way that the author depicted this downturn into his character to make him end up in an mental unit was well expressed and clear. The guilt that he felt about his brothers death was touching and the way that the scenes after his death and how his family went on living were really sad and very realistic.

One of the reasons why I think it is so effective is that the author previously worked as a mental health nurse so he was able to impart specialised knowledge of dealing with people with mental illness and mental deterioration.

I loved this book and am so glad that I took a chance on it and would certainly recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and lifelike, 10 Aug 2014
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I am a community nurse working with people with learning disabilities and also mental health problems. This book made me consider how people with downs syndrome enrich our lives and how mental illness can arise from our past . It make you think of what it's like to be in hospital and how it feels to the
Msbrickleyperson's. It also brings the reality of budget cuts in community services and makes you consider the impact this will have on people. Excellent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read, 8 Feb 2014
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I would urge you to read this - a worthy prize winner. I felt I was on the journey with Matt and there was laughter and tears. A stunning debut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heading back., 10 Feb 2014
By 
Sue Kichenside - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Shock of the Fall (Paperback)
At first, I couldn't get on with this - too sad, too quirkily presented for me - but I returned to it in the light of the Costa book award win and persevered, ultimately finding it to be a touching and empathetic read.

Some of Matt's thoughts seemed a little too conveniently contrived - one could almost feel the author 'sitting on his narrator's shoulder' - and there are some indulgent moments of sentimentality. But there are also insights here into the mind of the mentally ill and the care environment in which they're forced to live. Congratulations to Nathan Filer on such a successful debut.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.., 15 Feb 2014
By 
Mel R "MAR" (Gloucestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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I was totally gripped by this book from page 1. The story seems simple...a journey through mental illness..sounds dire?? Not at all!! The writers style is beautiful, full of pathos and humour and pithy philosophical insights. Lots of quotes to highlight. Recommended without reservation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel, 14 Feb 2014
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Nathan Filer's compassion and understanding of mental health issues shines through this outstanding novel. I would highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worthy winner!, 10 Feb 2014
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An amazingly touching and moving read. Captivating and chaotic a must read. I can't wait for his next book, until then, this one is brilliant.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the first page, 10 Feb 2014
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Really found this book mesmerising, sat and read it in a day. Its nice to sit and read a book that grabs you from the onset and doesn't turn into a hard slog to complete it. Interesting a well worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Shock of the Fall (Paperback)
I didn't expect a book like this to be so good, really absorbing and strangely life affirming, definitely worth a read!
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The Shock of the Fall
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (Paperback - 7 Jan 2014)
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